Netherlands matches crucial for Proteas' Cricket World Cup hopes

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Proteas ODI captain Temba Bavuma
Proteas ODI captain Temba Bavuma
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  • The Proteas' upcoming ODIs against the Netherlands are of utmost importance for their Cricket World Cup qualification.
  • South Africa need to win both World Cup Super League matches to have a realistic chance of direct qualification.  
  • The two matches will take place in Benoni and Johannesburg and the hosts will hope rain does not intervene.

Two end-of-season one-day international matches between South Africa and the Netherlands would not normally attract much attention - but the games this weekend are crucial for the Proteas.

The hosts have yet to qualify for the Cricket World Cup in India in October and November.

They need to win both World Cup Super League matches to have a realistic chance of booking their place in world cricket's showpiece.

Even with two wins, there is still an outside chance of being pipped by Ireland, although they will have to pull off a 3-0 upset series win against Bangladesh in May.

READ | World Cup fate: Proteas seniors must stay at the wheel as Dutch date with destiny looms

The matches in Benoni and Johannesburg are the second and third matches of a series which started in November 2021. The first match was rained off and the remaining games were postponed because of a Covid-19 scare.

Now, with South African days becoming shorter and the chill of autumn starting to bite, the Netherlands will take on a full-strength home team with several of their own best players unavailable.

Among those missing are five of the Dutch side that inflicted on South Africa one of their most humiliating setbacks - a defeat in last year's T20 World Cup which cost South Africa a place in the semi-finals.

South African-born Colin Ackermann, who was man of the match in the upset in Adelaide, has English county commitments as have Brandon Glover and Bas de Leede. Roelof van der Merwe was a late withdrawal and Logan van Beek is in New Zealand.

The Netherlands have some capable players, including batsmen Max O'Dowd, Tom Cooper and Scott Edwards and seam bowlers Fred Klaassen and Paul van Meekeren but South Africa will be clear favourites.

The Netherlands were beaten 2-1 in a one-day series in Zimbabwe before arriving in South Africa and lost to a South African invitational team in a warm-up game in Pretoria on Tuesday.

But the Proteas cannot afford any slip-ups, even to the extent of ensuring they do not add to the two over-rate penalties they have already incurred in the league.

With the possibility of rain showers on Friday, they will also be hoping for an uninterrupted match as they seek to add to a perfect 9-0 record at Willowmoore Park, which has not hosted a one-day international since September 2016.


South Africa: Temba Bavuma (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.

Netherlands: Scott Edwards (capt, wk), Musa Ahmad, Shariz Ahmad, Wesley Barresi, Tom Cooper, Aryan Dutt, Vivian Kingma, Fred Klaassen, Ryan Klein, Paul van Meekeren, Teja Nidamanuru, Max O'Dowd, Vikramjit Singh.


March 31, Benoni (day-night)

April 2, Johannesburg (day)

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